Urban One New Owner of WTEM-AM, Washington. Silver Spring, Maryland-based Urban One adds another Red Zebra property (the last station in Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio portfolio) to its radio station holdings as it acquires the NFL club’s flagship station, WTEM-AM, Washington “The Team 980” for an undisclosed sum. The Washington Post quotes Red Zebra chairman Terry Bateman saying WTEM will continue to air Redskins football play-by-play (plus pre- and post-game shows). Urban One kept ‘Skins games on Richmond, Virginia sports talker WXGI-AM that it bought from Red Zebra in 2017. Bateman adds that Urban One has “done very well with sports talk in Richmond.” Comments in the Post piece point toward Urban One sticking with the sports format, although Urban One SVP Jeffrey Wilson says the company isn’t prepared to discuss specific programming issues. Urban One paid $2 million for WXGI-AM and DC signal WDCJ-FM, Prince Frederick, Maryland (then WWXT-FM). We’ll know the price for WTEM when the FCC filing is available.
Envision Networks to Syndicate ‘Retire with Integrity’ Program. The new weekend financial advice program from Envision Networks is called “Retire with Integrity” and is hosted by financial pro Brian Bowen and co-host Tug Cowart. Bowen is an investment advisor representative and the president of Integrity Financial Planning, Inc. He is also the president of CPA tax firm Impact Tax Group, LLC. He is a contributor to CNNMoney.com, Money.com and Fortune.com. Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “When we investigate new shows to offer affiliates, we look for compelling content that listeners want to hear. The value of ‘Retire with Integrity’ is the fun nature of the program and the appeal it holds financially for stations to sell to local advertisers.”
Glynn Rises to SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Seattle. Sales pro Mark Glynn is the new senior vice president at iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group that includes sports talk KJR-AM and talk KHHO, Tacoma “Hot Talk 880.” Glynn has been serving as vice president of sales for the cluster’s KBKS, KUBE, and the TTWN. About his new gig, Glynn says, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead the sales organization for iHeartMedia Seattle. Audio is booming, and iHeartMedia Seattle is in a fantastic position to help advertisers get their messages heard by leveraging their eight iconic radio stations and lineup of superstar influencer talent.”
Nick Cattles Returns to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk. After being away from Max Media’s WVSP, Norfolk, Virginia “ESPN Radio 94.1” for 16 months for a stint at Entercom’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Nick Cattles is back hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. Cattles’ program replaces the canceled “Pants Party” with Jeff Pantridge. Cattles says, “I’m ecstatic to be returning to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’ During my previous run, I feel like I developed a deep and important connection with the sports fans of the 757, and I look forward to re-establishing and growing it even stronger. A special thanks to the ownership and management team of Max Media for allowing me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started on Monday, June 4.”
Jeff Hill Named VP of Sales at Cumulus Chicago. Windy City radio sales pro Jeff Hill is named to the newly created position of vice president, sales, for the Chicago cluster that includes news/talk WLS-AM, alternative WKQX, and classic hits WLS-FM. Hill was most recently director of sales for Tribune’s WGN Radio. In the past he’s served with ABC Radio – including as local sales manager for WLS-AM – as LSM for then-CBS RADIO’s WCKG-FM. Cumulus Media Chicago VP/market manager Marv Nyren states, “Cumulus Chicago is thrilled to be adding a market veteran like Jeff Hill as our vice president of sales. Jeff’s success in Chicago will allow our cluster to continue to build relationships with the ad community and compete at the highest levels of performance.”
TALKERS News Notes. There’s no official comment from Entercom on the decision to cancel the Sue Henry show on WILK-AM, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, but Henry confirmed via social media that yesterday (5/21) was her last day hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program. The Times-Tribune notes that Henry had hosted the show for the past 16 years. She also serves as a faculty member at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and a moderator of the school’s radio station…..TALKERS magazine hears that general manager Dave Coskey is out at Longport Media’s Atlantic City operations that includes news/talk WOND-AM, Longport, New Jersey. Our source says former CBS RADIO executive Marc Rayfield is assisting with the transition…..SiriusXM is presenting a special Town Hall Q&A event in which NBA legend Jerry West will sit down before a live studio audience and talk with fellow Lakers great James Worthy and take questions from the audience. The program is being timed to coincide with West’s 80thbirthday. The show is being taped at The Forum on Thursday (5/24) and will start airing on Friday.
Trump-Russia Investigation, Investigation into FBI-CIA Infiltration of Trump Campaign, Texas School Shooting Aftermath, U.S.-North Korea Summit, Pope Francis Homosexuality Statement, Iran Nuclear Deal, Major League Baseball, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s ordering the inspector general to investigation the possible infiltration of his campaign by FBI or CIA agents; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Houston-area high school; speculation over whether the U.S.-North Korea summit will actually happen; Pope Francis’ comments to gay man that ‘God made him that way’; the U.S.’s pressure on Iran for a stronger nuclear deal; MLB action; and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A number of moves take place at iHeartMedia’s Tucson station group. First, Nick Wize is the new assistant program director for CHR KRQQ-FM hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” and hot AC KMIY “My 92.9.” Wize will also take over afternoon drive hosting duties on KRQQ on June 11. At the same time, KRQQ and KOHT program director D-Wayne Chavez moves to afternoon drive on KOHT, and Suzette Rodriguez shifts to the midday program. iHeartMedia Tucson SVP of programming David Adams comments, “Adding someone of Nick’s caliber to the already strong KRQ lineup is like winning the lottery! Nick will be an extremely valuable addition to the team, both on and off the air.”…..Max Media Denver announces the return of Mile High personalities Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J, who are back to host both the morning show on hip hop KFCO “FLO 107-1” and afternoons on sister station rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101-5.” Cluster president and GM Jeff Norman states, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Larry and Kathie J to the Max Media Denver family. With over 16 years in the Denver market, they have an incredible track record of driving station ratings and growing businesses to the next level. Research proves the Denver community craves more of Larry and Kathie.” Current KFCO morning host Nina Blanco moves to the afternoon drive program, “SLiM’s Playhouse.”…..WIHT, Washington-based “The Kane Show” is featured in the June issue of Baltimore magazine as part of the “Newcomer’s Guide to Baltimore” feature. The program is heard in Baltimore on CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”
Nielsen Holdings Announces Q4 Up 6.3%; Audio Ratings Sector Rises 9.2%. As a whole, Nielsen Holdings plc reports that its fourth quarter 2017 revenue was $1.76 billion, an increase of 6.3% (or 4.2% on a constant currency basis) compared to the same period in 2016. For the full year of 2017, revenue was $6.5 billion up 4.2% (or 3.8% on a constant currency basis) compared to 2016. Nielsen calls its ratings segment Watch and within that is the audio ratings business. Nielsen reports audio rating revenue was up 9.2% in Q4. Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes states, “In Watch, we had a strong year. Our teams were relentless in their efforts to enhance our Total Audience Measurement system and drive client adoption across all of its components. As the market further evolves due to ongoing media fragmentation, Total Audience Measurement will serve as the foundation for our future, providing the measurement capability, scale, and flexibility necessary to best meet our clients’ needs.”
Talk Host Paul Harris to Do ‘Last Show’ Tomorrow on KTRS, St. Louis. For the past five years, talk radio pro Paul Harris has been doing the Friday afternoon show on KTRS, St. Louis. But, that gig will wrap tomorrow (2/9) as former KYKY, St. Louis morning personality Guy Phillips will take over the afternoon drive show (Frank O. Pinion exited the Monday through Thursday role last fall). Harris says he was offered the gig but does not want to work full time. He says, “Having done this for my entire adult life, I know the stress that comes from waking up every day and immediately thinking, ‘What am I doing to talk about today?’ It may not seem like it, but hosting and planning a well-executed, informed, entertaining radio show takes an enormous amount of preparation and brain power. Since moving into semi-retirement a few years ago — working only one or two days a week – I’ve had a lot less of that stress, and have welcomed those mornings when I didn’t have to worry about developing enough content to fill three hours of airtime.” See his full comments on his last show here.
WCTC’s Bert Baron Nabs Regular Show with NJ Speaker of the Assembly. New Brunswick, New Jersey morning host and program director Bert Baron is announcing he’s arranged to host New Jersey Assemblyman Craig Coughlin every month for a one-hour, live call-in show on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WCTC. The show will take place the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am, beginning February 13. Baron says, “This monthly show will serve as a platform for Speaker Coughlin to engage not only the residents of the district he was elected to serve, but also to provide real, honest information on all things Jersey politics. A Central Jersey lawmaker, appearing regularly on Central Jersey’s heritage radio station, is community synergy at its finest.”
iHeartMedia Seattle Announces Changes to KFNQ, Seattle and KHHO, Tacoma. Both stations have been sports talk outlets that complement KJR-AM, Seattle “Sports Radio 950” for iHeartMedia. Now, KHHO, Tacoma becomes “South Sound Talk 850, Tacoma’s Voice” and KFNQ re-brands from “1090 The Fan” to “1090 KJR, Seattle Sports Radio.” KHHO’s talk lineup will feature: Glenn Beck in mornings, “Armstrong and Getty” in late mornings, “The Schnitt Show” in early afternoons, “America Now with Buck Sexton” in afternoon drive, and “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” in evenings. KFNQ’s new lineup is: Dan Patrick in mornings, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” in late mornings, Doug Gottlieb in early afternoons, “Reiter Than You” with Bill Reiter in afternoon drive, and CBS Sports Radio programming from 7:00 pm through the overnights.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is making a few changes to its weekend staffing. The station is adding Joe Brand as Saturday morning sports anchor during Lou Manfredini’s “Mr. Fixit Show” and the John Williams show. Also, the station is putting Andy Masur in the sports anchor role during the Sunday morning Dean Richards show. Feder also notes that Tribune is negotiating for the rights to Chicago White Sox baseball. But, the price is going to have to be right as WGN let the Chicago Cubs go because the station could not justify the expense…..According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” is adding a new, Friday evening program hosted by Carly Zucker – wife of Minnesota Wild player Justin Zucker – called “Overtime” that will delve into the personal and philanthropic lives of professional athletes. Zucker makes regular appearances on the station’s morning program and previously hosted on the Minnesota Timberwolves Entertainment Network and reported for CBS Sports and FOX Sports North…..iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati re-ups with Learfield to continue serving as the flagship for Xavier University men’s basketball through the 2022-23 season. As part of the deal, the weekly “Chris Mack” coach’s show will air on sister sports talk WCKY. In the event of a conflict, games will air on sister news/talk WKRC.
New Budget Proposal, Pelosi Marathon Speech-Immigration Policy, Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Trump Approval Ratings Rise, White House Aid Resigns, FBI Texts Issue, Tesla Shot into Space, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7). The congressional budget proposal that would add $500 billion in spending; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks for eight hours in effort to force a vote on immigration policy affecting “dreamers”; this week’s Dow activity and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump’s request for a military parade; President Trump’s approval ratings rise; White House aide Rob Porter resigns over allegations of spousal abuse; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; Elon Musk shoots a Tesla Roadster into space with successful launch of SpaceX rocket; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
New Jersey Ex-Governor Chris Christie Chats on ABC Radio Podcast. New Jersey ex-Governor Chris Christie (left) is pictured here with “Powerful Politics” co-host Rick Klein (right) as the two discussed the Nunes memo, the Russia investigation, the Rob Porter resignation, and more on the weekly ABC Radio podcast.
Comrex Releases New Firmware for Opal Including Support for Mac OS and Safari. Broadcasters who are also Mac users will rejoice as Comrex announces it has released a new firmware version for IP audio gateway Opal that includes native Safari support for macOS and iOS11. Comrex says that once installed, Opal serves a web page to anyone who accesses it through an Internet browser on any device with a microphone and speaker. This web page allows a user to click a button and broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity. High quality return audio is also provided to the guest. Prior to the release of Opal 1.1, Opal was only compatible with Chrome, Opera, Edge, and Firefox browsers. Now, Opal users can connect using Safari, making it even easier to operate for Apple users. Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett says, “Up until this point we could support iPhone users with an app. But as simple as we made it, there was still a concern that even this step was too much for some guests. Now users can connect in studio quality from their iPhone without installing anything at all.” Opal users can download firmware v.1.1 for free from the Comrex website.
Beasley Philadelphia Honors Top Account Executives. Pictured above are members of the sales staff of Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia station group at the January 31 President’s Club Dinner. At this event, the company’s monthly Philadelphia President’s Club winners, many of whom were also annual budget achievers, were recognized by their sales managers for their outstanding performance and dedication. At the same time, account executive Steve Simons was named the 2017 Annual President’s Club Champion for his commitment to excellence and for exceeding his goals throughout the year.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence morning duo Paul Fuller and Al Matthews sign a new, three-year deal with iHeartMedia’s active rock WHJY. According to WHJY, this new contract will take the two through their 30-year anniversary with the station. Operations manager Rob Anthony says, “‘94HJY’ continues to dominate Southern New England and Paul and Al have always been a major factor in its success.” Program director Doug Palmieri adds, “It’s a great day for ‘HJY. I’ve known them since 1993 and to see them continue to love what they do and do it this well is truly inspirational. We’re proud to bring three more years of live, local mornings to Southern New England.”…..The syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” show – co-hosted by Chris Kelly and Chris Demm – is added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s alternative rock WKZQ, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The morning show is based at Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point.